Monday, 15 October 2012

Living in Ooh La La Land

This is what I want.....

Bonsoir tout le monde

This week I have been mostly tearing around France. The Boy and I decided to go on a half hearted attempt to look at potential holiday homes - deep down it was probably more of a full-hearted attempt at getting some child-free peace and quiet for a couple of days and to avail ourselves of cheaper wine. However, as we all know, the female of the species can be far more conniving than that and I went with the express intention of bullying The Boy into upping our mortgage and shelling out for a nice pad, whether he was aware of that or not. I suspect he was.
This is what I'll get. Only 90% of my time is
spent in cloud cuckoo land - the other
10% is on property porn

It didn't bode well from the start really. One of the first things you do pre-trip is book your hire car. If you do it on one of the generic websites that offers to find you the best deal,your car hire company isn't indicated until the booking has been made. Unfortunately, ours turned out to be Hertz which was indeed unfortunate as The Boy has been banned from hiring from them for life. (He didn't commit a heinous crime, merely wrote one of their cars off the day after proposing to me in Scotland - an omen of things to come perhaps? The crime wasn't even writing the bloody thing off - it was crawling from the wreckage in Glencoe at 6am and minus 10 degrees and hitching to the nearest village rather than freezing our (his) balls off. ). Either way, we thought Hertz might have forgotten by now so we tried it on only for the woman to pronounce "you 'av a problemme wiz Herrrtz end I cannot igh-ur you zis carrr". By you she meant either of us. I quickly corrected her on that point and asked not to be tarred with The Boy's brush. She relented which was fine but it meant I had to do ALL the driving, all 700 km of it and the French now have v strict drink-driving laws so not even a solitary beer at lunchtime.

The boding didn't get much better. We met the first agent, a lovely guy called, rather preditably, Jean-Pierre and agreed to follow him out of the village square to the first property. Unfortunately I followed the wrong guy - easily done given all the French drive Peugeot 106s. There's a reason I'm in the wine trade and not a private detective.  Issue rectified - found the right guy and spent an enjoyable afternoon with him. He even bought us (The Boy - I was adhering to the law) a beer and asked me if I'd do the Lac de Vassiviere Half Marathon with him next July. He's such a nice guy I probably will.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, viewing properties in France is a very interesting experience. They all speak excellent English, apparently because 80% of their clients are English. And I thought we were all selling up and coming home? They can be very charming of course and some of them buy you beer. But the decor is bloody awful. Where else would you get floor to ceiling dark brown flowered wall paper that has somehow managed to find its way between the ceiling beams aswell? In every room. Honestly, I googled "very bad 1970s French wallpaper" and couldn't find anything as bad as the stuff we saw up close.
If The Boy doesn't aquiesce
to my demands I shall decorate
our entire house like this or make him listen to
Rolf Harris on repeat

So, we saw 11 properties. Some were complete shockers, a couple were pretty cool, one was amazing. Then we came home and I tried to push The Boy into making a plan. He's really making me work for it and spouting stuff about exchange rates and other such nonsense that frankly I don't care about because a) I'm a woman on a mission, b) we need another venue for a book group weekend and c) I'm a woman on a mission.

I shall keep you posted.

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